Online Guide Helps Students Learn How to Create Immersive Media
- By Dian Schaffhauser
When the New York Times Magazine launched its free virtual reality app, "The Displaced," which could be viewed on a smartphone inserted into a low-cost cardboard headset, it opened possibilities for educators on bringing immersive experiences to their students.
Less than a year later Digital Promise Global teamed up with Oculus VR for Good, a unit within Facebook's VR headset division, to provide 360-degree production equipment to American high schools for helping students produce their own videos on topics that mattered to them. The result was a "360 Filmmakers Challenge," a competition that was repeated this year. Winning videos in 2017 covered human trafficking, Bay Area gentrification and helping each other through "blue" times. (While Digital Promise focuses on education in the United States, Digital Promise Global, a separate non-profit, generally tackles initiatives that are worldwide in scope.)
Now the two organizations have produced a free online guide that covers tools and resources to help students undertake 360-degree production. Among the topics: how to identify the "big ideas" worth exploring and personalize them; how to do 360-degree recording and handle pre-production, production and post-production; and how to share the film "with the world" and assess its impact. There's also an educator resource on integrating video production into the curriculum.
"Our hope is that youth and educators everywhere can benefit from this open resource to dive into immersive storytelling as one of many pathways to becoming creators and changemakers," wrote Chelsea Whaite, a program director for Digital Promise Global, in a blog article about the guide.
The "360 Filmmakers Challenge Production Guide" is available on the Digital Promise Global website.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.